Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Chauffour de BOISDUVAL... - Lot 76 - Conan Belleville Hôtel d'Ainay

Lot 76
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Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Chauffour de BOISDUVAL... - Lot 76 - Conan Belleville Hôtel d'Ainay
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Chauffour de BOISDUVAL (1799-1879), entomologist and botanist, a great specialist of lepidopterans; he took part in Dumont-d'Urville's expedition on the Astrolabe, of which he wrote the entomology part. Autograph letter signed to Henri Lecoq. 2 pp. in-4. Paris, November 2, 1824. Rare and beautiful letter on the discovery of a new noctuid caterpillar. "I am delighted that you had the happiness to discover the caterpillar of the Noctuelle de la Fougère. If you were fortunate enough to find any more caterpillars, I will claim an individual from your complacency when they are born. I once owned this beautiful moth; but I have never found it since. Mr. Godart, to whom I learned of this happy success, was enthusiastic about it and he asks you to describe it with the most scrupulous attention, as well as the noctua Bastis and Deraza, because he does not trust Hubner's figures, which seem to have depicted them with enough care. As you say very well, these three caterpillars are analogous for the forms, one would believe them at the first aspect to be geometric or at least semi-geometric because of the brevity of the last but one membranous pates which are also more distant than in the other noctuid species. The Batis and the Deraza have their caterpillars brown with some almost ocellated spots in the 2nd at the anterior part and the 1st is absolutely of the same tone but it has lines in several directions. That of the Fern is green with whitish lines in zigzag which intersect [...]. Finally I will tell you that Mr. Godart has bought Hubner's work for a few months. I always told you that he would have to resort to it. Godart's figures, however, are superior in execution. I was forced to agree [...]. I thank you a thousand times over for the kindness you have shown me in providing me with a B. [I have been longing for this insect. I have just received a Bombyx querna from Normandy [...]".
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